Earth History Activities
Below are in-class or indoor lab Starting Point activities using an Earth history approach.
- Ocean Stratigraphy Challenge
A 15-20 minute think-pair-share activity interpreting a deep-sea sediment core combining concepts from oceanography, sedimentology, and plate tectonics.
- Starting Out With Earth History
Distribute a blank geologic-history timeline to pairs or small groups of students at the start of an Earth History unit or course and ask them work together to fill it out as best they can.
- Describe and Interpret Images: Folded Strata
In class, have students make a simple sketch of an outcrop shown in a slide (or computer projection) then discuss possible interpretations.
- Earth History and Time: Sample Socratic Questions
Time and Earth History sample Socratic questions and answers.
- Fossil Identification Board Game
The instructor uses a series of games to help students identify and answer questions about fossils. The game grows more complex over time as the instructors add rules and phyla to identify.
Field LabsThe following examples from the Field Labs module use an Earth history approach. The module itself contains a great deal of information about teaching outdoors.
- "Adopt an Outcrop"
Describing rock outcrops and hand specimens
- Assembling a geologic history
Assemble a regional geologic history by compiling observations made a several sites.
In this lab, students measure a topographic and geologic cross-section across a floodplain by simple surveying and auguring techniques.
- Geologic mapping
Students complete a geologic map of a small area.
- Glacial geology in the field
Students describe and interpret glacial features exposed in gravel pits and outcrops.
- Local Stratigraphy
Students use field lab periods to construct a composite stratigraphic section of the area surrounding their campus.